Today's recession is already longer than all but two of the downturns since World War II. But for now, public officials are being extremely cautious about the D-word. Alfred Kahn, a top economic adviser to President Carter, learned that lesson in 1978 when he warned that rampaging inflation might lead to a recession or even "deep depression."
When presidential aides asked him to use another term, Kahn promised he'd come up with something completely different.
"We're in danger," he said, "of having the worst banana in 45 years."